North Korea is one of the world’s most secretive places. Ruled by a small handful of families who keep an iron grip on the population, those who live here are isolated from the rest of humanity. Many are not allowed to travel anywhere else. One traveler reveals the real nation during his recent visit. His startling photographs reveal a nation nearly left behind by modern technology.
1. Here is a rare image of a woman in a pink dress with the army. This picture is so rare because it is against the law in North Korea to take a photograph of their army.
2. Cars are a relatively new things in North Korea and the locals are getting used to seeing them. Look at the children in the middle of the road staring at the cars in amazement not knowing what to do.
3. The Photographer of this photo took this picture and was yelled at right away by on lookers and by police, telling the photographer to delete the photo right away because you are not allowed to take a photo of an unfinished piece of art.
4. On a tiny lake in the capital of North Korea a fisherman is using a tire as a boat, doesn’t look too safe to me…
5. Cars are a relatively new things in North Korea and the locals are getting used to seeing them. Look at the children in the middle of the road staring at the cars in amazement not knowing what to do.
6. Transportation connecting the big cities is almost a nonexistent, here you can see a near empty highway. And you are only allowed to travel on the highways and go from town to town if you have a permit.
7. A waitress serves drinks at one of the few private restaurants in all of North Korea. The watchful eye of the nation’s dictator keeps on her as she does her work providing refreshments for foreign visitors and high ranking local officials.
8. Workers clean up the streets in Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea. Each wears a uniforms and carries identical cleaning equipment that will be used to clean the entire area during the course of the long workday.
9. Here you can see people in the countryside walking along with their bicycles. The bicycle is a common mode of transport as cars are scarce here and many people rarely drive even long distances.
10. Apartment buildings loom large on the streets of the capital. The well kept streets are devoid of traffic even during the middle of day as economic activity is highly regulated. Many people live in these large apartment complexes where interior spaces are designed to help them find shelter from the often brutal climate changes.
11. Detailed customs instructions indicate what can and what cannot be brought into the country. Violations of any one of these regulations can result in serious penalties that may include expulsion from the country so all visitors must be sure to understand the details of the instructions before setting foot in North Korea.
12. The foreboding monuments of many North Korean cities are a mass of grey shapes. Workers here clean the exterior of the monument so that each corner looks pleasing the eye. Work crews in North Korea are commonly conscripted by the nation’s rulers as a punishment for minor criminal activity or drawn from local schools.
13. Residents of the state of North Korea are required to show obedience and homage to the nation’s ruling family and, in particular, the present dictator of the state. Here they can be seen bowing to a large statue of Kim Il-Sung that is maintained in the public square in the capital city as others place a wreath and look on.
14. A large, thick grey monument to the war that the Koreans fought against the Japanese can be seen in the capital city. The nation of Korea was colonized by the Japanese who attempted to get rid of Korean nationalism and turn both North and South Korea into vassal states as part of a plan of conquest of the entire Asian continent.
15. Stacks of identical housing units dot the skyline in Pyongyang. While the population of North Korea has periodically fallen during famines, officials here hope to encourage larger families by residents access to housing they can use.
16. The shelves of a North Korean grocery store can be seen here along with a line of varied produce. However, the shelves are carefully arranged and the produce, while well kept, is not very plentiful, clearly indicating the legacy of recent foods shortages in the nation.
17. One of many statues of the ruling leader that can be seen in many parts of the North Korean state. Residents are required to show the statue respect as they pass it each day and are often reprimanded if they do not.
18. A large railway station looms in front of the viewer. North Korean railways are available but are often of poor quality and do not cover much of the country.
19. The interior of an elevator in one of the many housing blocks in North Korea. Dozens have been constructed in recent years.
20. Looking out a window from a North Korean train. While trains are inexpensive service can be spotty at best due to the many shortages of electricity that plague the nation.